Monthly Archives

April 2018

Condo Developers Use Techy New Weapons In The Amenity Arms Race


As developers at the top end of the residential market know all too well, amenities can often make the difference in courting the small demographic that can afford the most extravagant residences. The result is an arms race among building owners to provide truly unique services and offerings — in this day and age that translates to the liberal use of technology. Property Markets Group, for example, is testing out a smartphone app for residents to access building and concierge services at its recently opened Echo Brickell condo tower in Miami, The Real Deal reports.

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Through the app, residents can order food and beverages from eateries in the building, delivery services such as flowers and dry cleaning, or repairs from the building handyman. PMG has also enlisted wellness celebrity Deepak Chopra to integrate healthy living technology into some units at its Muse development in Sunny Isles Beach. Other developers in the area have opted for a more personal touch. KAR Properties has hired vacation planner-to-the-stars Mariela Dobrova as the “lifestyle curator” for residents at One River Point, a condo tower in Downtown Miami that has not yet broken ground. Dobrova will work directly with residents, even before a sale has fully closed, to plan both vacations and social activities within the city. Echo Brickell also has brought on Brian Koles as a “brand and human experiences director”; he will also help with the aforementioned app. Koles described his job to TRD as helping residents live “the most ‘Instagrammable’ life possible” by putting together personalized experiences meant to be envied, like beach massages or VIP tickets to local events. At The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach developer Lionheart Capital will include a floating helipad for residents to land in a helicopter before being boated back to their condos on shore, and a Frauscher luxury yacht with a dedicated butler available for residents to rent. That said, the cutting edge is not just reserved for the richest of the rich. The latest tech advances have allowed high-end condo owners to venture into short-term rentals. Habitat Development is among a small subset of companies bucking the trend of condo buildings discouraging its residents from renting out their units. At Smart Brickell, Habitat is building fully furnished apartments that owners will encourage residents to rent out via integrated technology that connects to apps like Airbnb. Owners of the units, which will also be fitted with Nest and Echo smart home devices, have the option of allowing Smart Brickell’s management to handle such short-term rentals. Representatives for Habitat said that more than 60% of buyers at Smart Brickell, where condos range between $300K and $500K, have expressed interest in the short-term leasing option. Units across Miami worth more than $600K are still heavily restricted to Airbnb and its ilk, as developers expect such wealthy residents to balk at the idea of strangers renting out their swanky pads.

Publication: BisNow
Date: April 2, 2018
Author: Matthew Rothstein

The residential developments reshaping Miami’s skyline


This summer, the Habitat Group will break ground on Smart Brickell, a mixed-use development that pairs private residences and retail outlets with healthy diners, rooftop garden, and a battery of eco-friendly and teched-up features.

Publication: Wallpaper
Date: April 4, 2018
Author: Daven Wu

Smart Brickell anuncia acuerdo en Miami con un socio de Airbnb


Smart Brickell Announces Agreement in Miami with an Airbnb Partner

This alliance with Pillow will allow owners the ability to lease their unit with ease.

Pillow, Airbnb’s official shared home management platform, advances the Smart Brickell philosophy.

MIAMI – Smart Brickell, led by Santiago Vanegas, is the first project in Miami to sign a partnership agreement with Pillow, a home-sharing solution for real estate developers, as well as homeowners, administrative managers, and residents who want to offer safe accommodation and efficient through Airbnb.

Founded in 2013, Pillow was created to make the process easier for homeowners looking to rent their units on shared hosting platforms like Airbnb. The service helps the host manage their calendar, set prices for their units, hand out keys to guests, and perform cleanings between stays.

“The Smart Brickell philosophy centers on three main pillars, one of which is smart use,” said Santiago Vanegas, founder of Habitat Group. “This alliance with Pillow will allow owners the ability to lease their unit with ease. The partnership with Pillow aligns with the vision behind Smart Brickell and will provide owners with the highest level of comfort and smart use of their space. “

Unit owners will be able to rent their fully furnished condos up to 24 times a year on the Pillow platform through shared hosting platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO, which will simplify the administrative task. The Pillow partnership will work to help residents make the most of their home’s smart use features.

“Estamos entusiasmados de entrar al mercado de Miami con un proyecto tan revolucionario”, dijo Sean Conway, cofundador de Pillow. “Pillow y Smart Brickell tienen visiones muy similares y ambos se han enfocado fuertemente en la tecnología útil que le brinda facilidad a los dueños. Nos esforzamos por ofrecerle a los dueños opciones prácticas que simplifican y esta alianza hará exactamente eso”.

Con precios a partir de los US$300.000, Smart Brickell contará con 50 residencias de 1 y 2-dormitorios midiendo 51 m² a 103 m². Ubicado en el distrito financiero de Miami, en 239 Southwest 9th Street, el edificio con certificación LEED de 25 pisos, fue diseñado por el arquitecto Hernando Carrillo y su diseño conceptual se llevó a cabo por la empresa de renombre mundial, Gensler. Las residencias serán entregadas completamente amuebladas y terminadas y contarán con el interiorismo de la aclamada firma de diseño Arquitectonica Interiors.

Each residence has smart amenities that complement the project environment and lifestyle by including: Nest thermostat, LIFX Wi-Fi enabled smart LED bulbs, Amazon Echo and Alexa personal assistant and a concierge app that will allow residents to request services from the comfort of your home through a smartphone. Units at Smart Brickell will also feature city-view decks, floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, and kitchens equipped with Bosch appliances and ItalKraft cabinets.

Smart Brickell will open in 2020.


Henley USA buys Jefferson Hotel Miami


Henley paid about $260k per unit for the Jefferson Hotel and South Beach hostel

The U.S. arm of United Kingdom-based private equity firm Henley paid $15.4 million for two hotels in Miami and Miami Beach, property records show.

Husa LH JZ LLC, a company controlled by Garrett Solomon, paid $8.6 million for the Jefferson Hotel at 528 and 534 Southwest Ninth Avenue and $6.8 million for the Jazz on South Beach, a hostel at 321 Collins Avenue. The Henley affiliate financed the deals with an $11.6 million mortgage from MOIF Credit I LLC.

Solomon, who founded the development and management firm Corbelis, heads Henley’s U.S. team. In addition to offices in the U.S. and the U.K., the private equity real estate firm also has offices in the Netherlands.

One Sotheby’s International Realty’s Alex Miranda and Ramon Rodriguez, along with One Commercial’s Leslie Cooper, brokered the deals.

Santiago Vanegas’ Habitat Group sold the Miami property, a 33-key, three-story limited service hotel on Ninth Avenue. Habitat is developing Smart Brickell, a mixed-use condo project planned for the west Brickell neighborhood. The Habitat affiliate paid $1 million for the Jefferson in 2014, and invested $3.8 million into a full renovation of the property, according to its website.

Henley paid about $261,000 per key for the Jefferson.

Jazz on South Beach LLC, which is controlled by Moshe Ziv and John C. Reilly of Pine Plains, New York, sold the South Beach Hostel to Henley. The 26-unit, nearly 8,800-square-foot property hit the market last year for $7.15 million. It sold for about $262,000 per unit.

The hostel has 196 beds in the 26 units, with zoning for up to 218 beds, and each unit has an in-suite bathroom. It also features laundry and kitchen facilities. The owners recently invested about $500,000 in renovations and completed the property’s 40-year re-certification. Records show the LLC paid $3.75 million, or about $144,000 per unit, for the hostel in 2007.

By Katherine Kallergis

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